Former Canterbury Rams guard Joe Cook-Green has signed with KK Metalac Valjevo of the Serbian KLS, Serbia’s premier basketball league.
An alumni of the Mainland Eagles Academy, Cook-Green made his Rams debut as an 18-year-old back in 2015. Off the back of a decorated high school career, which featured a national under-17 title with Otago and a national secondary schools title with Otago Boys High School, Cook-Green committed to Northwest Florida State College in the United States. Ahead of his junior college season, Cook-Green transferred to Texas Wesleyan University of the NAIA, which is where he finished his collegiate career.
Upon returning to New Zealand in 2020, Cook-Green re-upped with the Canterbury Rams, recovering from injury and suiting up in 2021 against the Auckland Tuatara. He went on to average 9.1 points per game with the Rams in 2022. 2022 also saw Cook-Green make his Tall Blacks debut, donning the customary black and white strip at the FIBA Basketball World Cup Asian Qualifiers in the Philippines.
Following two seasons with the Rams, Cook-Green flew across the ditch for the 2023 season, playing for the Eastern Suns of the NBL1 West in Australia’s second-tier league.
Across 22 appearances with the Eastern Suns, the Dunedin product bumped his scoring average up to 24.4 points per game. Cook-Green proved to be one of the more formidable offensive players in the conference, earning All-NBL1 West First Team honours and scoring a single-game conference record 54 points in July.
Led by coach Branislav Ratkovica, KK Metalac Valjevo are coming off a successful 2023 season that saw them finish fourth in the KLS regular season standings with a 20-10 record. Cook-Green is set to join a new look roster in Valjevo that features a local core fronted by up-and-coming 2.13m centre Mihailo Mušikić and a quartet of rookie Americans in Kenny Dye, Damaria Franklin, Christian Bundy, and Tyron Lions.
Cook-Green’s Serbian season will tip-off on October 2nd when KK Metalac Valjevo take on KK Zdravlje in Leskovac, Serbia.